The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Balikatan 2021 exercises which forms part of heightening US military interventionism in the Philippines, both in counterinsurgency and Philippine external defense.
The annual Balikatan exercises:
a) reinforces US doctrinal and operational control of the Philippine military forces in the name of “interoperability.”
b) trains the AFP to provide support services to the US military in its overseas operations especially in this part of the globe
c) influences the AFP to prioritize counterinsurgency operations and entices it to buy surplus weapons of the US showcased during the exercises.
The Balikatan exercises this year is even more deplorable in the face of the increasingly brutal war of suppression being waged by the AFP in the countryside, marked by relentless aerial bombing operations supported by the US. Two hundred-kilo bombs are being dropped near rural communities and farms forcing peasants and minority people to flee their homes, causing widespread trauma among the masses and destruction to the environment.
Amid increasing Chinese aggression in the Philippine seas, the Balikatan exercises foster the false notion that the US military is the only option for the Philippines to stand up to China. In fact, because of its long standing reliance on the US military, the AFP remains incapable of defending the country independently. This reliance is made worse by the Duterte government’s failure to come up with a more robust and comprehensive plan of resisting China’s aggression.